CCTV In Classrooms Makes UK Teachers Feel Like ‘Lab Rats’

LONDON – Close circuit cameras have now started to creep into Britain’s classrooms. Around 7,500 teachers have voiced their concern across the UK over how they feel like “lab rats” as CCTVs are being openly misused by senior management in schools.

Britain’s largest teachers’ union NASUWT has found that of the teachers who reported CCTV in their classrooms, 89% said they could not switch it off and 88% said that it was constantly recording their lessons. Over half (55%) said head teachers viewed the footage and 41% said it was being used to find evidence to form negative views about staff.

A survey has confirmed that CCTV cameras introduced in schools as a safety measure for staff and pupils are being used to spy on teachers. While teachers said that they acknowledged CCTV could enhance pupil and staff safety, a third of teachers felt that CCTV in schools was an invasion of their professional privacy and over a quarter said they felt it does not contribute to teaching and learning.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said “This is another example of how teachers are being undermined and stripped of professionalism. They are already wrestling with monitoring carried out by senior management and a host of other people regularly visiting their classrooms”.

“Now, in some schools, they are being subjected to permanent surveillance through CCTV cameras. Lab rats have more professional privacy. In some cases teachers reported having their private conversations filmed when the school was not in session. The stories teachers recounted to us in the survey are a shocking catalogue of professional disrespect and unacceptable intrusion”.

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